Practice Report: Tulsa
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Monday, August 06, 2012
8/06/12 at 3:19 AM
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Position update: Left guard
TU's game with BYU in last season's Armed Forces Bowl marked the end of Clint Anderson's three-year career as a starter at left guard. His apparent successor is Jake Alexander, a 294-pound sophomore from Jenks. On consecutive snaps during Sunday's short-yardage session, Alexander obliterated defenders - once on a kick-out block that resulted in a huge hole at the center-guard gap, and again after pulling to the right side.
Among TU's backup guards is an interesting freshman - 6-foot-5, 310-pound Chris Wallace of Sperry.
"He's a true man," Golden Hurricane coach Bill Blankenship said. "He's just learning how to play, technique-wise." Blankenship says Wallace was "a little under the radar" as a recruit because Sperry primarily ran the football.
A redshirt season should benefit Wallace and two other freshman offensive linemen - tackle Blake Belcher from Guthrie and center Dylan Foxworth from Claremore.
"So much synchronization has to happen with (offensive linemen)," Blankenship said. "It just takes time."
News and notes
Productive session: When TU practice began at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, the temperature was in the high 70s - considerably cooler than was the case on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
"I really thought the energy was good when we started," Blankenship said. "It got cranked up pretty good."
Working in helmets and shoulder pads, the Golden Hurricane had its best and most physical session since the start of the preseason. Among the highlights were Kalen Henderson's 50-yard TD pass to Bryan Burnham and an interception by linebacker DeAundre Brown.
"I thought we won today as a team. This was a good practice," Blankenship said. "But if you poll the coaches, some will be chapped and some will be happy. That's just the nature of this deal. When we went one-on-one today, the receivers won big-time. Yesterday, the defense really stuck it to the offense."
The Hurricane won't be in full pads until Tuesday, but there was a resounding, impressive Sunday collision involving safety Michael Mudoh and tailback Ja'Terian Douglas.
"Tough hits are not a bad thing," Blankenship said. "We want to be a physical team. Mudoh was one of the best tacklers we had coming out of spring. There was a point in time, close to the end (of spring practice), when he had not missed a tackle."
Violent contact - whether delivering or receiving - is as much a part of football conditioning as running and lifting weights.
"Yes, it is," Blankenship said. "You've got to get used to it."
Garrett update: On TU's Armed Forces Bowl roster, wide receiver Keyarris Garrett was listed at 6-foot-4 and 185 pounds. At the start of preseason camp, he reported at 207 pounds.
"In the spring, he was probably our most improved player offensively," offensive coordinator Greg Peterson said. "He has the speed and size to go deep, and catches the ball underneath and runs with it pretty well."